Temporal stability and cross-situational consistency of affective, behavioral, and cognitive responses
Diener, E., & Larsen, R. J. (1984). Temporal stability and cross-situational consistency of affective, behavioral, and cognitive responses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47(4), 871-883.
Examined consistency and stability of feelings in reports that were completed on 3,512 occasions randomly sampled from the lives of 42 undergraduates. Over a 6-wk period, Ss completed a mood inventory at times indicated by an alarm watch. The stability and consistency of responses depended on the situations, individuals, and responses involved. High degrees of consistency were unusual for single responses, although mean levels of responding tended to be both highly stable and consistent. The consistency and stability of variables covaried, suggesting a connection between the two. Ss who were more consistent across one pair of situations tended to be more consistent across other situational pairs. Results indicate that the question of whether personality consistency exists does not have a simple answer and requires knowledge of the persons, situations, responses, and level of analysis involved.
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